Painted From Memory on vinyl , June 2017, Mobile Fidelity's hybrid SACD , Oct. '17

Pretty self-explanatory
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taz
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Painted From Memory on vinyl , June 2017, Mobile Fidelity's hybrid SACD , Oct. '17

Postby taz » Thu Jun 26, 2003 10:32 pm

I haven't really heard any songs off of Painted From Memory (except God Give Me Strength) so I wanted to see what everybody felt about it. I'm planning on picking it up this weekend but since I've got a bunch of others on my list, give me some input please...thanks!
A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. Do you think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fuckin' cross? It's kind of like going up to Jackie Onassis with a rifle pendant on.

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Postby spooky girlfriend » Thu Jun 26, 2003 11:00 pm

I love "This House is Empty Now" despite the fact that a lot of people don't. I haven't listened to this one in a while - I will give it a spin before I make any more comments, Taz. :wink:

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Postby oily slick » Thu Jun 26, 2003 11:10 pm

it is a very nice record that gets treated a little too rough. burt holding elvis back as he makes you wait as the songs are built is a little painful, but worth it. but i like everything elvis, so i am never objective. favorite cuts are the sweetest punch and toledo probably. it's nifty.
I'm not concerned about the very poor.

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Postby SweetPear » Thu Jun 26, 2003 11:12 pm

Taz,
I'll bet that there are a few records you might want to put ahead of Painted From Memory.
Every time I make a statement like that, I feel it's unfair. Somebody always loves what somebody else hates.
I've had and have listened to PFM for quite a while but it's not a record that I've come back to. There's better EC stuff to listen to.
Maybe that's it...it didn't sound like EC.
The first time I heard it, I thought there was something weird about it but I just couldn't put my finger on.
I think it was (and even though they're all original songs) that Elvis just didn't sound "right" singing these clearly Bacharach-style songs. Not that they weren't good or that I couldn't stand to listen to them, (Toledo was good and Tears At The Birthday Party.) but I thought EC sounded very stiff and uncomfortable. I don't know why because I didn't think he sounded that way on the Juliet Letters or with the Mingus orchestra.
I did like it. I'm glad I have it and I know there's a time and place for it. When that is...I don't know! ( I remember getting it and having a few good cries. Not because of the music! The music in conjunction with my life at the time.)
I have to listen to it again now because I know there were other songs I liked.
I'd be interested to hear what any others have to say.
I'm not angry anymore....

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Postby pophead2k » Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:35 am

I think the title track is worth the price of admission alone. Brilliant.

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Postby martinfoyle » Fri Jun 27, 2003 5:00 am

I listened to this album recently for the first time in a while and it holds up very well. Indeed, because of all the Bachrach bits, its one of EC's more timeless records. Since he learnt how to read music, EC's sense of melody has been seriously challenged. Bacharach appears to have gotten him to be melodic again. Indeed since he,EC, made his recent album with similiar high calibre jazz musicians, hopefully he put the same effort again, though that track done at UCLA does'nt bode well.

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Postby martinfoyle » Fri Jun 27, 2003 5:03 am

martinfoyle wrote:I listened to this album recently for the first time in a while and it holds up very ...


Taz,
FYI I got a whole heap of scary messages when I posted this.

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Postby so lacklustre » Fri Jun 27, 2003 5:24 am

I only recently got this myself and quite liked it on first listen, but I think you need to be in the right mood for it, as it can become a bit boring. I wouldn't want it on more than once at a time, whereas most of his other albums I can repeat all day.

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Postby Copenhagen Fan » Fri Jun 27, 2003 6:24 am

It's quite simply one of the top 5 Elvis CD.s. The songs are great, the lyrics dark and his singing is at its best.

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Postby ReadyToHearTheWorst » Fri Jun 27, 2003 6:40 am

The lyrics are a little more direct than on other EC albums, and some of the melodies are fabulous, and Burt's arrangements are very classy!

Overall, it's closer to a Bacharach album than an Elvis.
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Postby taz » Fri Jun 27, 2003 7:16 am

Thank you guys for all your input!!

One more thing, would you say that 'God Give Me Strength' is indicative of the rest of the album?
A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. Do you think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fuckin' cross? It's kind of like going up to Jackie Onassis with a rifle pendant on.

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Postby bambooneedle » Fri Jun 27, 2003 7:41 am

It doesn't sound dissimilar. There's a fair bit of vocal drama as in that one, musical build-ups, the sense of melancholy...

I think it's very worthwhile, and also don't relate to the harsh criticisms. While it's by no means wild, it's still a very engaging listen. It's very nuanced vocally, which makes it great for singing along with.

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PFM

Postby girl out of time » Fri Jun 27, 2003 10:06 pm

i still have that other girl.....my fave!
...the promise of indulgence in my confidential voice approached inmortal danger but you´ll never know how close....

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Postby bobster » Sat Jun 28, 2003 12:55 am

I think this is EC's most underrated album out of a career filled with criminally underrated albums! In other words I love it -- but I'm an odd bird in that I probably loved Bacharach even before I was old enough to know I loved Bacharach.

One of my earliest musical memories is going to a taping of a local TV show in Burbank and seeing someone (Steve & Eydie??) do "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" in the same studio where Johnny Carson used to do "The Tonight Show." Naturally, "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" is a special favorite of mine among early EC tracks.

Nevertheless, it's not perfect. I actually don't much care for "God Give Me Strength". As a song, it's a bit over-dramatic for my taste. Also, EC's singing's is a bit of problem on not all but on some songs -- ESPECIALLY GGMS, IMO. I DID feel he reached too much for the notes on the Juliet Letters and I think it's also a problem here, though to a lesser extent.

Actually, I have this secret fantasy of him re-recording both albums with Anna Sophie Von Otter or some other wonderful -- and more technically adept -- singer(s).
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Postby SweetPear » Sat Jun 28, 2003 6:06 am

Damn it, I feel so crumby now because I feel like I gave this record a bad rap. :x

If I may "steal" from a couple of other posts......some of the melodies are fabulous and the arrangements are classy as well. I love, Bacharach and David ("I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" is one of my favorite, favorite songs that EC has done) but this sounded like EC doing Bacharach and it didn't sound natural to me. He sounded stiff and uncomfortable. I do think you need to be in the mood for this record (and it obviously's got to me on some deep level because I practically cry through the whole thing.)
But yeah, overall, I'd say it's closer to a Bacharach record than an Elvis record.
Nothing wrong with that...but there's no way you can compare this record to This Years Model or even All This Useless Beauty.....or WIWC for that matter. THAT'S Elvis.
But don't get me wrong, I'm not apologizing for my opinion. I admire and respect the man's passion and curiosity and look forward to seeing him pop up in all sorts of unexpected places. I felt the comments were indirectly pointing to my less than glowing review of the record.
I'm a very sensative person. :oops:

So do I get a reprieve??
I'm not angry anymore....

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Postby BlueChair » Sat Jun 28, 2003 10:07 am

It hasn't hit me yet in the right way... maybe I need to grow up a little bit first.

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Postby grliegrl21 » Mon Jun 30, 2003 2:34 pm

This album is definitely one of my favorites. Although, it can really kill a good mood and make a sad/depressed mood even worse. I think his vocals on this album are amazing. But, then again, I very much enjoy the Bachrach-style and I think it suits Elvis well.
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Postby Jackson Doofster » Mon Jun 30, 2003 3:32 pm

I like the first half...I dislike the middle.....I love the end.

I think he reaches for notes too much on the whole though.
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Postby Copenhagen Fan » Tue Jul 01, 2003 3:11 am

wow...I can't believe that the album is not more popular! I don't consider it a Burt album at all......Elvis can put his voice to almost any music and make it his own. ON the other hand, I HATE JULLIET LETTERS...that blows.

As an answer to the question regarding if GOD GIVE ME...is an indication of the rest of the record....yes and no...the sound is simillar, but GGMS is the best song on the album in my opinion. If you like it, then you will like most of the rest of the album. I'll love most of the songs on the album, especially The Darkest Place, Still Have that other Girl in my Head, Tears at the Birthday Party....The Long Division, Such unlikely Lovers,...even Toledo...so there are at LEAST 6-7 great songs here.....

When I'm in a meloncholy mood, I choose this one....and If you like to sing along with the CD, this is one of the most fun ones to try....after Imperial Bedroom of course.

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Postby costellopunk » Tue Jul 01, 2003 3:33 am

i've been meaning to put my two cents in on this. i have always thoroughly enjoyed painted from memory. do i listen to it on a regular basis? no. would i use it to get someone into ec? no. it's a mood album. i would be worried if i was in the mood for it very often. it is a dark album that really focuses on loss. other people have noticed this right? i think anyone who is already an established elvis fan should own this album. if you don't you really are missing out on something different and interesting.
-it takes a long time but god dies too/but not before he sticks it to you-

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Postby Copenhagen Fan » Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:33 am

CostelloPunk is RIGHT..it's about loss......It guided my through my divorce.

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Postby Mr. Misery » Fri Jul 25, 2003 11:04 pm

Taz, I'm reviving this old thread to find out if you purchased Painted From Memory and what you thought of it.

When I got it on its release in 1998, I disliked it. The arrangements and background singers were so different from what I was used to in an Elvis Costello album that I avoided listening to it after a few spins. Yet there were individual moments that still moved me, so I suspended judgment. The rehabilitation of the album for me was gradual, until only last year it was that I fully appreciated it and was surprised to discover the depth of these songs.

It is his most mature work, and highly satisfying. I counted, for myself, seven outstanding songs: "In The Darkest Place," "I Still Have That Other Girl," "This House is Empty Now," "My Thief," "Painted From Memory," "The Sweetest Punch" (always the most accessible and Costello-like), and the masterpiece "God Give Me Strength."

I detested "The Long Division" at first but it has grown on me, and hearing it and "Toledo" in concert are much superior to the recorded versions. "What's Her Name Today?" is a sleeper track, with a bitter set of lyrics that reads well, and a powerful vocal.

I like his voice very much throughout, though others may not, and the arrangements are still problematic, but Painted From Memory is an extraordinary work, and now that I am older and wiser one of my favorites. So if you don't care for it, give it a few years, it is that kind of album.

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Postby martinfoyle » Sat Jul 26, 2003 3:31 am

I agree with Mr Misery, PFM is a fine album that gets better with age. It's fine combination of EC's lyrics and BB's unique sense of melody make it one of EC's more durable albums. Judging by You Turn To Me, EC's seems to have regained his own sense of melody on North that, predictably enough, went a bit by the way once he learnt how to read music. Considering the musical backing on North, I'm confident that album will also prove to be as timelessly brilliant as PFM

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Postby DrJ » Sat Jul 26, 2003 5:03 am

This album reminds me of starting work. I remember being so over-worked and pissed off that I couldn't find an hour to sit down and give it a ceremonial first listen like I had with prior EC records. When I did hear it I hated it. I had known GGMS, but nothing prepared me for PFM. When the female voices came on on "In the darkest place" ("Try to find another lover") I was like "What is this shit?"

The song that got me into the album was "I Still Have That Other Girl" which I think I saw EC do on Letterman, and after seeing that, I could get into the album. I now agree with Mojo's original review: the first six songs are the finest suite of pop music in a long time. I think the first half of PFM is better than the second. Seeing the subsequent Costello and Nieve tour helped too.

And now I like PFM. As a sidenote, a female friend of mine who vicariously listens to Costello through me bought and loved PFM and is her fave EC record. I think that's great: That EC connected with a music fan through one of his "side-project-dilettante records" (music journalist phrase, not mine)

Also, the next single from the White Stripes Elephant album is their version of "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" which, although great, is an odd release for a single. I was hoping for "There's no home for you here"

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Postby Veronica » Sat Jul 26, 2003 7:32 am

I agree with everything positive said about PFM. It's been one of my favorites and most played CDs since I bought it when it first came out. I find it to be soothing. In my office I'm usually met with groans when I declare a day an EC only one, and I take over the CD changer. But when PFM comes on everyone is OK.


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